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‘SCOTLAND HONOUR UP THERE WITH CELTIC,’ MULGREW

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CHARLIE MULGREW will take over as Scotland skipper from the recently-retired Scott Brown against Costa Rica at Hampden tonight.

And the former Celtic defender admitted he has now realised two boyhood ambitions.

The 32-year-old versatile Blackburn Rovers star said: “Growing up a Celtic fan, captaining them was massive for me.

“It was a real proud moment for me and I was very honoured to have done that.

“This is right up there with that. It is a massive honour.”

Returning international boss Alex McLeish made the decision yesterday and Mulgrew added: “Every time I get called up, I’m honoured.

“I never take it for granted. I only found out about the captaincy just before training. I didn’t have any inkling and I certainly wasn’t expecting it.

“When the manager told me, I was absolutely delighted. You grow up hoping to get the chance to play for Scotland.

“So, to be captain for a game is absolutely massive for myself and my family.

“I don’t know if he is looking to build anything around me. He maybe looked at the amount of caps I have got, looked at the squad and I have quite a lot in comparison to a lot of the other boys.

“There are a lot of captains in the changing room, a lot of leaders and, hopefully, we can get the right result.”

Mulgrew, who left the Hoops at the end of his contract in the summer of 2016, won his first cap against Slovenia in 2011 just before his 26th birthday.

Now, after 32 appearances for his country, he added: “I never gave up. I always tried to keep believing in my ability. I always believed I could play for my country.

“I played all the way through the age groups and then I didn’t play for the full squad until I was 25. You do doubt yourself at times and worry it won’t come, but, thankfully, it did.

“That’s why I cherish each time I’m called up and I try to treat every training session as if it is my last.

“Hopefully, I can lead by example with the way I play.”

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